PC Gamepads: How to find a decent one?

I like playing emulated games sometimes, but also a lot of modern PC games are being released on steam that are designed for a gamepad. Especially new 1v1 fighter games like injustice and FighterZ, are pretty much impossible to play with a keyboard.

I'm in the market for a new gamepad. My last one broke, it was cheap chinese junk. My one before that broke too, it was kind of midrange. My one before that broke too, it was a decent quality logitech pad. So on, and so forth, these things have a crazy short shelf life. Often less than a year.
The biggest problem is drift on the left stick. A lot of pads lose the ability to hold their centre, and the stick will give a constant directional input during gameplay, making them worthless. I've had many pads that even have this flaw right out of the box (instant refund of course)

I've also notice that, on the software side, not all pads are made equally. Some gamepads aren't recognised by games at all, or only by a select few games where the developer has put in a lot of attention on gamepad support. In those cases i often have to use a hack like Joy2Key, which is a real pain.
Other gamepads - including the second-most-recent generic brand one i had, "just work". Every game i ever cared to use them on detected and supported them automatically with zero effort. Oddly in this respect i've had more luck with generic brands than with logitech.

I don't know why this happens but i'm here to find out. I'm really tired of buying a new gamepad every year. Of having gamepads randomly work or be a huge pain.

I want a gamepad that's built to last, and won't suffer stick drift for at least several years. I want a gamepad that "just works" and that i never have to use third party programs to support it. Ideally built specifically for PC - i've had no luck with trying to use console pads on PC

With regards to style, i prefer the playstation form. With two sticks down below, a D-pad on the left, four buttons in a cardinal cross on the right, and four shoulder buttons. The exact shape isnt too important as long as it roughly resembles that

Oh and i prefer wireless, fwiw.

With all of that in mind, I'm here to ask: What does a quality gamepad really cost? Can anyone recommend a specific brand/model they've had good experiences? Do you have one that's been working for several years without issues?
7 answers Last reply
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  1. The Logitech Gamepad F310 feels the most like an old console controller to my hands at least. Though I've found it sometimes doesn't cooperate with newer AAA titles, like Forza Horizon 3.
  2. The XBox one wiresless with dongle just works.
  3. J_E_D_70 said:
    The XBox one wiresless with dongle just works.


    It does, and I use it for modern games that require controllers to play well, but if the original poster has a lot of muscle memory from some of those old SNES/PS games, the D-pad and the left analog stick essentially swapping places makes those games feel a bit awkward.
  4. Ooooooo.
  5. DSzymborski said:
    The Logitech Gamepad F310 feels the most like an old console controller to my hands at least. Though I've found it sometimes doesn't cooperate with newer AAA titles, like Forza Horizon 3.


    The F310 is wired, looking for wireless ideally
    Also not working with some games is kind of an issue, at least two of the games i want to play are brand new
  6. DSzymborski said:

    It does, and I use it for modern games that require controllers to play well, but if the original poster has a lot of muscle memory from some of those old SNES/PS games, the D-pad and the left analog stick essentially swapping places makes those games feel a bit awkward.


    this is correct, im not interested in an xbox style controller because the left stick is in the wrong place. cant stand it at all! :(
  7. bump
    This thread kinda slipped down. I'm still looking for responses on this subject, no good candidates for a gamepad that meets my needs yet
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